Majority of IT Professionals Say Catalog Sprawl Increases Expenses, Risks According to PMG Catalog Sprawl Study

Enterprise IT leaders are concerned over the growth of catalog sprawl and the resulting impact to their organizations according to the 2014 PMG Catalog Sprawl Survey of 236 North American corporate IT professionals. 

Catalog sprawl is the condition encountered when organizations introduce multiple front end tools for employees to procure different types of services or to request help. Often the result of siloed departments or a lack of communication, IT departments may find the very tools designed to help streamline processes have become the biggest obstacles to consistency and continued efficiency. 

A majority of IT professionals (71 percent) say they have up to five customer facing tools, which often include service desk, hardware and software provisioning, identity management, and onboarding and off boarding solutions. 

“Catalog sprawl is hampering 43 percent of organizations today, and we expect this number to continue increasing in the future,” said Joe LeCompte, principal at PMG. “IT leaders have heard their business users’ cries about tool overload and realize a solution is needed. Progressive organizations are looking to adopt enterprise service catalog technology as a Single Pane of Glass solution that helps them eliminate catalog sprawl.” 

According to the findings, the top challenges associated with multiple catalogs in use inside an organization include increased administration expenses (72 percent), decreased value of the service and offerings portfolio (60 percent) and increased software expenditures (52 percent). 

Complete findings from the 2014 PMG Catalog Sprawl Survey, a blind survey of 236 North American corporate IT professionals conducted in February of 2014, are available at 

Catalog Consolidation Critical

To address catalog sprawl, 59 percent of respondents are looking toward consolidating employee facing catalogs. The biggest hurdles to consolidation are:

  • Buy-in from business leaders (42 percent),
  • Legacy applications and software (37 percent),
  • Insufficient budget (35 percent),
  • Lack of IT staff expertise (33 percent) and
  • Buy-in from IT leadership (31 percent).


Single Pane of Glass to the Rescue

Sixty-seven percent of respondents believe achieving a Single Pane of Glass, one portal where users can find all of an organization's offerings from to A to Z, would enable IT to be more strategic. In fact, more than half (57 percent) of those surveyed believe a single interface is either important or very important to their organization. 

Nearly all (95 percent) of IT pros felt a Single Pane of Glass approach to catalog sprawl would be effective within their organization. The top metrics by which they would rate impact of this strategy are usage, quality of consumption and service level impact. 

Today, achieving that single interface continues to elude most organizations (73 percent). The biggest obstacles to executing on this strategy include a lack of leadership from top management and a lack of cooperation from end-user departments such as marketing, sales and HR. 

For in-depth survey findings from the 2014 PMG Catalog Sprawl Survey which include shadow IT operations usage, visit